A former gangster turned high-profile criminal-justice advocate has been recruited by the House Democrats’ campaign arm for a top management role, The Post has learned.
As a senior adviser for diversity and inclusion, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, led by Hudson Valley area Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, tapped Dyjuan Tatro.
Tatro is known for starring in the 2019 PBS “College Behind Bars” documentary series about a group of prisoners seeking to receive their degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative of New York State.
Tatro earned a bachelor’s degree via the programme while completing a six-year term for racketeering conspiracy. At the time of that 2011 conviction, Tatro had already been doing time for shooting two rival gang members in 2006.
Tatro, identified at the time as a “triggerman” for the street gang Original Gangsta Killas that terrorised Albany, admitted to the shooting and “razor-slashing” of another victim in 2002 as well as drug trafficking.
He admitted he was making drugs for at least $12,000 a month and conspired to sell more than 50 grammes of crack cocaine.
Tatro was released in 2017 and, through BPI, has since been an advocate for growing educational opportunities for prisoners.
Tatro was part of a three-inmate dialogue team from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility in the Catskills during the programme itself, which famously beat the Harvard undergraduate debate team, winning national headlines.
Republicans said Tatro’s hire will reinforce criticism that Democrats are soft on crime.
In a statement following his hiring, Tatro, who worked on Maloney’s campaigns, said,
This past election cycle has demonstrated the effect of electoral politics on each and every American’s everyday lives, as well as the centrality of the African-American vote in winning elections. I am fortunate to join the DCCC to work on a variety of governance, diversity, and equality & inclusion issues.
He added, “For his commitment to assembling talented and diverse DCCC teams, I want to thank Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney.”